I put myself back in time, firmly in October,
at a house with its own strand;
apricot sky, blue cold, gentle water,
a shell in my hand, pearl’s mother.
I am always leaving Ireland.

Time moves at exactly its speed
but the journey home takes longer.
I wear the ring you give me
the gold and platinum band
you promised against all harm.

Today is better than yesterday,
November, the eleventh slate,
in my home it seems impossible to break,
I am composed
of such durable material

and I wear Peruvian lilies,
blown, brash, slowly opening,
yellow with a darkening red
they bend down lower, new leaves
tum over, butterflies fan out.